Keep Tabs on the Weather with rpi_status

[Facelessloser] is interested in glanceable information. Glancable devices are things like your car’s dashboard, your wristwatch, or widgets on a smartphone lockscreen. The glanceable information distribution system in this case is rpi_status, [facelessloser’s] entry in the Enlightened Raspberry Pi Contest.

[Facelessloser] coupled a ring of eight WS2812 RGB LEDs with a small OLED screen managed by a the common ssd1306 controller. Since he was rolling his own board for this project, [faceless] some buttons and a BMP180 temperature sensor. Going with popular parts like this meant libraries like the Pimoroni unicorn hat library for the WS2812 were readily available.

A simple display like this can show just about anything – from status of a nightly software build, to traffic along your morning commute. [Facelessloser] is using it for weather data. His data source is Weather Underground’s API. Weather information is displayed on the OLED. The WS2812’s display the temperature. A single blue light means cold. The ring fills as the temperature warms up. After eight degrees of blue, the color changes to orange, followed by red.

Check out the video after the break for a short demo of the board.


Pave the path to learning and win prizes:

Enter the Enlightened Raspberry Pi Contest!

Just teach us a how to do something awesome with a Pi. (See more entries)

8 thoughts on “Keep Tabs on the Weather with rpi_status

  1. Ambient Devices came out with several of these sorts of things several years ago, and while they are still in business, they never made the sort of penetration I for one thought, they should have.

    1. Ambient was trying to position itself as an upmarket brand. It’s hard to get a chance to show people how nice always-on displays are when people aren’t willing to spend $60-$140 on a device that their PC/smartphone can also theoretically do.

  2. Glancable, pow, you got it… one eye twitch… but such low resolution number of “bits”, is it possible to arrange not to need to glance? Peripheral vision info? No eye twitch.

  3. Too bad we can’t post pictures here in the comments. I recently wanted an Ambient Orb back (mine broke years ago) and set out to make one with a NeoPixel ring, ESP8266 and a globe fixture. It turns out that the 16 LED ring is the perfect size to just sit on top of a standard E26 light bulb socket. This one works pretty well, only a little hot glue needed to mount the ring and the ESP:

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